Japan08

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Information about Japan08
Travel-Nature

Published on March 30, 2008

Author: Goldye

Source: authorstream.com

ExperienceJapan:  ExperienceJapan May-June 2008 Basics:  Basics Tour leaders Larry Neuman Kasumi Kato Enroll in Sociology 350Contemporary Japanese Society, and select the Study Tour Option (4 credits) class meetings are once a week, Wednesday 6-7:30 pm, plus on-line assignments. After the on-campus part of the course ends, we visit to Japan for 14 days, Thurs. May 22 to Wed. June 4. Weather:  Weather The weather should be very pleasant. Expect it to be a little warmer than Wisconsin Expect it to rain once or twice. Traveling:  Traveling Thursday May 22 Depart early morning for Japan from Madison, arrive late afternoon Friday May 23 at the Kansai International Airport (KIX). Take a limo bus to Kyoto, stay there 4 nights Take trains to Kobe & Osaka stay 1 night overnight in Osaka Take a train up to Mt. Koya, a major historic-culture site. We stay 1 night at a traditional Buddhist monastery. Return to Osaka & take a bullet train to Hiroshima, and stay 1 night Take bullet train to Tokyo, stay 4 nights Go to resort area near Mt. Fuji, 1 night Return via Tokyo Narita airport, arrive Madison Wednesday June 4 (same day) Japanese language (Nihongo) 日本語 :  Japanese language (Nihongo) 日本語 Speaking or reading Japanese is not a requirement. However, you will find being able to speak some Japanese is a great advantage. Knowing how to say even a few Japanese phrases or being able to read some characters or Japanese script will help you a lot. While many Japanese people speak some English, many do not and even if they do, it may be with Japanese pronunciation that can confuse you. Likewise, many signs are in English, but you can easily turn a corner and find yourself in an area with all signs in Japanese only. Physical Fitness: Walking:  Physical Fitness: Walking There will be a great deal of walking on this trip. This is very common in Japan. Be prepared to walk 2-3 miles a day each day. Japan has many mountains & steep hills and lots of stairs. There are not many elevators. Public Transportation:  Public Transportation We will travel using regular Japanese public transportation, not a special tour bus. It will be a cultural learning experience. It can be extremely crowded and congested. Trains quickly come & go, so you’ll need to be careful and stay with others in the group or you will get left behind. Shinkansen (bullet train) 新幹線 :  Shinkansen (bullet train) 新幹線 We will ride the bullet train from Osaka to Hiroshima, then from Hiroshima to Tokyo. They travel about 300 miles per hour. Food (tabemono) 食べ物 :  Food (tabemono) 食べ物 Food and eating are central to a culture. Japanese food in Japan is very different from what most Americans typically eat. It is important to be very flexible and willing to experiment with new food. Eating real Japanese food is an important part of the trip. NOTE: The drinking age in Japan is 20 and alcohol is common with the evening meal. FOOD:  FOOD Much of Japanese diet is fish-based. Chopsticks (hashi) 箸 :  Chopsticks (hashi) 箸 Expect to eat with “chopsticks” most of the time. They are used with almost all Japanese meals and forks may not be available. It is a part of experiencing the culture. Traditional Tea Ceremony:  Traditional Tea Ceremony You will have a chance to experience the traditional Japanese tea ceremony and drink the special type of green tea served at it. Onsen 温泉 :  Onsen 温泉 We plan to visit an onsen (natural hot spring spa) in the mountains. Onsens are extremely popular among the Japanese and central to the culture. Your teachers will review bath procedures and etiquette with you in advance. Bathing is in the nude, there are separate baths for males and females. Communal Bath Experience:  Communal Bath Experience The Onsen blends the mysticism and spirituality of the East into the traditional sweat bath practice, lending it a Zen, meditative quality. Ryokan 旅館 :  Ryokan 旅館 We will to stay 1-2 nights in a traditional Japanese inn, sleeping on the floor on tatami 畳 mats in futon 蒲団. For this we may have 4-5 people in one room, with a shared toilet and traditional Japanese bath. Japanese Business Hotels:  Japanese Business Hotels Most of the time we will stay a business hotels, twin room (same sex). The rooms are very small and bathrooms are tiny by U.S. standards. They are clean, safe, and sparsely furnished. They have vending machines, washing machines & Internet access. The staff do not speak for than a few words of English. A small, simple Japanese breakfast will be provided each morning. New and Old:  New and Old The goal is for you to experience various aspects of today’s Japan with its mix of traditional and modern, in nature & in dense urban settings. We especially want you to experience things you cannot experience anywhere else, and what makes Japan special. We will try to take advantage of on-going events that take place regularly in Japan and have some fun. :  We will try to take advantage of on-going events that take place regularly in Japan and have some fun. We cannot always tell in advance. Intensity:  Intensity Most days you will need to be up by 7 am and we leave the hotel after breakfast, about 8:00 am. We will not return until after dinner, about 8:00 pm. After you return in the evening you will a little time to make a diary entry, do laundry or pack, check email, etc. The trip is fast-paced and tightly scheduled. We will visit several sites each day, and all day we will be changing trains/buses and walking quickly. At the same time, you will have some free time & shopping time, for a 1-2 hours scattered in the trip. Also, a “site visit” might include a quiet walk in a park or forest for an hour with opportunities to sit and take in the beautiful scenery. Kyoto 京都 :  We begin with 4 days in the cultural center of Japan and another ancient capital city (794 to 1868) Kyoto. Kyoto 京都 Kyoto, is famous for its temples, shrines, and other historic sites, and is a virtual storehouse of officially designated National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties. Kyoto:  Kyoto In Kyoto we will visit major cultural and historical sites, temples and parks. Many of the sites are not just the most famous in Japan, but are designed World Heritage sites. Fushimi Inari Shrine:  Fushimi Inari Shrine We will visit this shrine just outside Kyoto. It is dedicated to Inari, a Shinto god of rice. You will also see foxes are thought to be his messengers. It was in the film, Memoirs of a Geisha and is sometimes call the shrine of 10,000 toris. A tori is a gate or entrance to religious area, these are painted bright orange. 奈良 Nara:  We’ll take a day trip to Nara is one of Japan’s most historically important cities. It was Japan’s capital, 710-784 CE and holds many important designated National Treasures, temples, shrines, statues, carvings and paintings. In Nara Park, nature and history are beautifully preserved. Nara park is also famous for its hundreds of tame deer that roam freely. 奈良 Nara Kobe 神戸市 :  Kobe 神戸市 We will visit the city of Kobe and there, a sake’ brewing museum. We will also take in a Japanese baseball game that features the Hanshin Tigers of the Kobe-Osaka area. Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum :  Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum Rice wine or sake is a major part of Japan’s historic culture. This sake museum is in Kobe's compact brewery district. There are life-size mannequins throughout the big two-story structure, caught in the act of inspecting the mash or stirring the yeast or performing any of the other many sake-making steps that are explained in great detail. Takarazuka Revue:  Takarazuka Revue We will also see a performance of an all female dance/song troupe near Kobe. This is a famous Japanese form of contemporary entertainment. Young women (16-30) take all roles. It is very colorful and extravagant. Osaka 大阪 We will briefly visit Japan’s 2nd largest city, Osaka. It is a modern city with 8.8 million people, 7% of Japan’s population.:  Osaka 大阪 We will briefly visit Japan’s 2nd largest city, Osaka. It is a modern city with 8.8 million people, 7% of Japan’s population. Mt. Koya (koyasan, 高野山):  Mt. Koya (koyasan, 高野山) From Osaka we will take a train to Mt. Koya. It was settled in 819 AD and is the headquarters of a major sect of Japanese Buddhism. There are over 100 temples, and religious pilgrims come from all over Japan to visit them. We will stay at a monastery overnight. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hiroshima 広島市 :  Hiroshima 広島市 We will leave Mt. Koya and take a bullet train to visit the city of Hiroshima and the world famous Hiroshima Peace Museum. The museum shows how terrible a nuclear bomb can be. Miyajima 宮島 :  Miyajima 宮島 Miyajima “shrine island” is about a 20 minute local train ride outside of Hiroshima. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site. It is called one of the most beautiful places in Japan and has been considered a holy place since 806 AD. Tokyo 東京 After Hiroshima we take a 6 hour bullet train ride to Tokyo:  Tokyo 東京 After Hiroshima we take a 6 hour bullet train ride to Tokyo Tokyo Scenes:  Tokyo Scenes The Tokyo metropolitan area is considered the world’s largest city. We will be there 4 nights Tokyo:  Tokyo Tokyo is the center of government, business, finance, education and entertainment in Japan. We will be very busy visiting major sites in and near the city. We will use Tokyo’s mass transit system. World’s largest urban mass transit system Trains & subways of Tokyo:  World’s largest urban mass transit system Trains & subways of Tokyo Kabuki 歌舞伎 :  Kabuki 歌舞伎 In Tokyo we will see a type of unique Japanese theatre form with roots going back centuries. Males play all parts. Cutting Edge Street Fashion in Tokyo’s Harajuku district:  Cutting Edge Street Fashion in Tokyo’s Harajuku district Hakone district:  Hakone district The last full day we will visit a Hakone – a hot springs, lake, & national forest all in the shadow of Mt. Fuji. It is a major world resort area. We will stay overnight in a resort hotel with onsen & have a karaoke party. Depart from Narita Airport, Tokyo:  Depart from Narita Airport, Tokyo On Wednesday June 4 We leave Hakone after breakfast. We take a 2 hour train ride to Japan’s main International Airport and return to the USA Course Details:  Course Details This is an academic course about Japan that will prepare you for the trip plus the trip itself. Full participation is both parts is mandatory. While in Japan, students are expected to participate in all activities. This includes attending all site visits and showing respect for the cultural and religious practices of the Japanese people. Students who feel they can not participate fully in all aspects of the course and the trip should not enroll in the travel part of the course. Course Assignments after departure:  Course Assignments after departure All students will complete regular coursework. For students selecting the travel option, there are two additional academic requirements: 1. Personal Journal – Each student going to Japan is required to keep a diary/personal journal to record their reactions/reflections on their experiences. Each journal entry should be 1-3 pages in length, neatly written, with the date and time indicated. 2. Portfolio on an aspect of Japanese society - Each student going to Japan is to keep and create a portfolio on an aspect of Japan that you will investigate while there. Supplement pre-departure information with photos, artifacts, and excerpts from your personal journal. After return, you may wish to reorganize or add to the portfolio. Costs:  Costs INCLUDED: Lodging (shared double, except in Ryokan, then 4-5 per room) Transportation (RT airfare and public transportation inside Japan) All breakfasts & all but 2 dinners, but no beverages at meals although tea and tap water is often provided free. Admissions to museums, temples, baseball game, etc. Includes mandatory trip health insurance fee Estimated total $3,750 (subject to change depending on final airfare, number of participants and currency rate changes). You pay a $300 deposit now, then $3,450 will be on your spring semester student bill to be paid by the time we leave. Note that food, lodging & transportation in Japan typically run 10-20% higher than the US. Costs:  Costs NOT INCLUDED: Shipping luggage between hotels in Japan ($30-35 total) THIS IS A NECESSITY, we do it once. Lunches ($8-10 per day), Beverages at meals and between-meal snacks (cost varies), Example, $1.20 is what a very small can of coke costs from a vending machine in Japan and $3-4 is a small coke at a restaurant. Any passport fees if you do not have a passport. Storage lockers ($3 per usage, you’ll need to use them 3 or 4 times). Getting to/from airports in US, personal items, and souvenirs. Personal items and souvenirs. Total will be about $200-$350 Warnings:  Warnings Health conditions are equal or better than in the U.S. You should still check with your doctor and bring medications. Get into shape. The trip is physically rigorous and there will be a great deal of walking. Few Japanese train stations or public places have elevators, expect to go long distances and up many flights of stairs. Be prepared to use Asian style squat toilets, Western style will not always be available. Some adjustment may be required. As with all university trips out of the country, serious misbehavior will not be tolerated. Be warned: the offending student may be DEPORTED FROM JAPAN and sent back to the USA immediately, at his/her own expense. CAUTION:  CAUTION Packing extremely light is very important. Do not take what you cannot carry long distances (5 busy city blocks with huge crowds of people). Most days we will be staying at hotels with coin washers (small, Japanese-sized ones), so you only need to take enough clothing for 3-4 days. What Next?:  What Next? Fill out an application with the International Education office. Get a passport if you do not have one. IMMEDIATELY! It can take 3 months for it to be processed and you cannot leave the US for Japan without one. Apply for financial aid & scholarships. Register for SOCIOLGY 350) in Spring semester through the International Education Office Coreq: Concurrent or prior completion of any course on East Asia or an East Asian language, or consent of instructor Class meets 6:00 pm on Wed). There is a upper limit of 22 students. Practice eating with chop sticks, almost all Japanese restaurants we will go to do not provide forks and the only way to eat is with chopsticks. Financial Aid and Scholarships:  Financial Aid and Scholarships The cost of a study tour counts as part of your financial aid package (Grants & Loans). There are also scholarships available. Students should contact the International Education and Programs Office or the Financial Aid Office for scholarship and grant applications As Soon As Possible. Absolute last date is November 15. May 2005 UWW Students in Tokyo:  May 2005 UWW Students in Tokyo May 2007 UWW Students in Japan (with a city mayor & his staff) From trip March 2006 in Kyoto

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